Web Theoi
PERSES
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Περσης
Περσαιος
Persês
Persaios
Perses
Persaeus
Destroy, Ravage
(persô, perthô)

PERSES was the Titan god of destruction. He was the father of Hekate--his one and only child--by the goddess Asteria ("the Starry One").

PARENTS
[1.1] KRIOS & EURYBIA (Hesiod Theogony 375, Apollodorus 1.8)
OFFSPRING

[1.1] HEKATE (by Asteria) (Hesiod Theogony 404, Apollodorus 1.8)
[1.2] HEKATE (Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter 24, Orphic Hymn 1, Lycophron 1174, Apollonius Rhodius 3.1036, Diodorus Siculus 4.45.1, Ovid Metamorphoses 7.74, Seneca Medea 812)
[2.1] KHARIKLO (Scholiast on Pindar's Pythian 4.181)

ENCYCLOPEDIA

PERSES (Persês). A son of the Titan Crius and Eurybia, and husband of Asteria. by whom he became the father of Hecate. (Hes. Theog. 377, 409, &c.; Apollod. i. 2. §§ 2, 4.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Hesiod, Theogony 375 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"And Eurybia, bright goddess, was joined in love to Krios and bare great Astraios, and Pallas, and Perses who was preeminent among all men in wisdom."

Hesiod, Theogony 404 ff :
"Asteria of happy name, whom Perses once led to his great house to be called his dear wife. And she conceived and bare Hekate."

Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter 25 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th or 6th B.C.) :
"Hekate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaios."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 8 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"The Titanes had children . . . To Kreios and Eurybia, the daughter of Pontos, were born Astraios, Pallas, and Perses . . . Perses and Asteria [were parents] of Hekate."

Lycophron, Alexandra 1174 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"The maiden daughter of Perseos, Brimo Trimorphos [Hekate]."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From . . (lacuna) [were born] Perses, Pallas."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 7. 74 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Now to the ancient shrine of Perseis [Hekate, daughter of Perses] she [Medea] made her way."

Seneca, Medea 812 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
"I see Trivia’s [Hekate's] swift gliding car . . . O Perseis [Perses’ daughter]."


NOTES :

1. Perses was one of three sons of the Titan Krios. He probably presided over the constellation Perseus, whose eastern rising along with those of his father Krios (the constellation Aries) and brother Pallas (constellation Auriga) marked the beginning of the Greek campaign season. Alternatively he may have been linked with Seirios, the dog-star of the constellation of Canis Major, just as his brother Pallas appears to have been tied to the storm-bringing goat-star, Capella, of Auriga. Whereas Capella heralded the rising of destructive storms, Seirios was the bringer of the scorching heat of mid-summer, and the blight of drought. The third brother Astraios, the starry one, in the guise of Aristaios, was the god who brought forth the cooling Etesian Winds to relieve the power of the dog-star. Krios' daughter, Hekate of the dogs, was probably associated with the dog-star Seirios. The association of the name Perses "the destroyer" with the malevolent influence of the dog-star on the sun can also be found in the form of Perseis, the mother of witches by the sun-god Helios.
2. Perses as the dog-star may have been imagined with canine features. His father and brothers were all associated with animals--Krios was literally "the ram," Astraios was a horse- or ass-featured Seilen, and Pallas, from whose skin the aigis was crafted, was a goatish god.
3. Perses and Pallas were also war-gods. The name Pallas was connected with the word pallô, meaning "to brandish a spear," while Perses is associated with the word persô, "to lay waste" or "sack in war."


Sources:

  • Hesiod, Theogony - Greek Epic C8th-7th B.C.
  • The Homeric Hymns - Greek Epic C8th-4th B.C.
  • Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
  • Lycophron, Alexandra - Greek Poetry C3rd B.C.
  • Ovid, Metamorphoses - Latin Epic C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
  • Seneca, Medea - Latin Tragedy C1st A.D.